LAYTON — Teachers in Davis County are hoping drivers choose Chevron or Texaco when their vehicles need fuel this month.
Chevron kicked off its Fuel Your School campaign Tuesday morning by delivering scientific calculators to every student in Kathy Johnson’s sixth-grade classroom at Crestview Elementary.
The company plans to donate up to $500,000 in classroom supplies directly to teachers — $1 for every eight gallons or more fuel purchased during October.
Johnson requested the calculators through the online charity DonorsChoose.org, and Chevron used the Fuel Your School funds to fulfill her wish.
The Chevron program funds teacher requests for project supplies and hands-on instructional materials related to the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math, known as STEM.
“As a company, one of the most important things Chevron can do is to help support education, specifically STEM education, which is so critical to our business. The Fuel Your School program allows us to collaborate with schools, teachers, parents and the broader public to make a real difference in students’ academic and future career achievements,” said Greg Hardy, Chevron spokesperson.
Chevron has teamed with DonorsChoose.org — a separate organization that provides teachers with a forum to request classroom supplies from the public.
Any individual or organization can donate to a teacher’s project via the website.
“Chevron is really focused on funding STEM projects. Teachers go through DonorsChoose.org, and Chevron will pick and fund projects aligned with these missions,” said Lisa Davis, Chevron representative.
Davis said she has spoken with many teachers who receive creative lesson plans from their school districts about how to effectively teach with hands-on supplies; however, they do not receive the budget to enact the projects.
As a result, many teachers either go without or spend their own money on classroom materials for their students.
“(Fuel Your School) is a way for teachers to tap into the private sector — to get the supplies they need to raise the level of education, especially in STEM subjects … This enables teachers to teach at a completely different level, and students to learn at a completely different level.”
Johnson was thrilled with the donation of calculators for her students, and said it would allow her to teach more real-world applications for math.
“Many times our school budget just doesn’t cover the technology tools like scientific calculators. In the past there were very few places to turn for this kind of funding,” Johnson said.
“Thanks to Chevron’s Fuel Your School campaign, my students now have tools that will allow them to learn complex mathematics. This knowledge will help them integrate math into their daily lives, and open up so many more career opportunities.”
Johnson mentioned talking to her students about the application of math in the stock market, car loans, and even the ratios used to create hair colors for cosmetology.
“This is the best day ever,” said 11-year-old Amee Harris as she opened her new scientific calculator.
“I’m really excited. I’ve never gotten anything like this before. I feel like I’m going to cry,” she said.
The Fuel Your School program is in its second year in Utah — only in Davis and Salt Lake counties.
Six states in the nation are recipients of the company’s donations.
Last year the program funded 806 projects in 193 public schools, and benefited 68,425 students in Salt Lake and Davis counties.
Davis County schools received $132,000 from the program last year, said Jodi Lunt, Davis Education Foundation director.
“It’s really neat when our businesses step in and do great things for kids in our classroom,” Lunt said.
“Chevron is amazing … It is the most spectacular thing that an organization does for education.”
Teachers in Davis County can request project funds from the campaign through Nov. 30. They can go to DonorsChoose.org to describe their classroom project, and request supporting materials from an online catalog.
Chevron officials said projects would be approved on a first-come, first-served rotating basis among the schools in the area, for as long as funds are available.